Assisting Individuals Facing Computer Crime Charges in and Around Haddonfield and Pleasantville, New Jersey
Computer crimes, also sometimes known as cyber crimes, hacking, or internet crimes, are serious offenses in the State of New Jersey. Computer crimes may involve a variety of different offenses, including internet fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, possession or distribution of internet pornography or child pornography, and online stalking. Some of these offenses are punishable under both state and federal laws.
If you are facing charges of any type of computer crime in New Jersey, you need a strong legal defense as well as an experienced criminal defense lawyer advocating for you throughout your case. Haddonfield, New Jersey computer crimes attorney Matthew V. Portella is ready to help you with defending your case and can zealously advocate in and out of court on your behalf.
Computer Criminal Activity
Computer criminal activity is a very broad charge. A person could be charged with and convicted of this offense if he or she knowingly, purposely, or without permission interferes with or accesses computer data or a computer system belonging to someone else. Computer criminal activity could be charged as a first, second, third, or fourth degree crime depending upon the circumstances that are involved. A conviction can result in high monetary fines being imposed by a sentencing judge—up to $200,000 for a first-degree offense—along with 10 to 20 years of incarceration for a first-degree offense.
Wrongful Access and Disclosure
Wrongful access and disclosure occur when a person knowingly and purposely (and without the proper permission) accesses a computer, computer equipment, computer system, or computer data to recklessly or intentionally disclose the data that is found therein.
This charge is a third-degree criminal offense in New Jersey, but a prosecutor could upgrade the charge to a second-degree offense if the offender intentionally discloses computer information or data that was protected by court order or by law.
A criminal conviction for this offense requires that the offender be sentenced to a period of incarceration, during which the offender will not be eligible for parole during one-third and up to one-half of the sentence which the judge imposes.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud in the State of New Jersey encompasses a number of different offenses. Those offenses include the following:
- Stealing a credit card or credit card information (i.e., credit card theft)
- Making a false statement for purposes of obtaining a credit card
- Fraudulently using a credit card
- Receiving something of value, such as money or property, as a result of credit card fraud
- Use or acceptance of a credit card for payment while having knowledge that the credit card was expired, forged, or revoked
- Obtaining a credit card for purposes of securing a debt
- Unlawful receipt of a misleading, lost, or mistakenly delivered credit card
The majority of these credit card offenses will be third or fourth-degree crimes. The penalty upon conviction for these charges can range from 18 months of incarceration to a maximum of five years of incarceration.
Identity theft is a serious crime in New Jersey that involves fraud. Any of the following activities could result in law enforcement issuing identity theft charges:
- Assuming another person’s identity—or taking on a false identity—for purposes of avoiding payment for previously rendered services
- Pretending to represent an organization or another individual to obtain a monetary benefit from someone else—or for purposes of defrauding that other person
- Taking on a false identity for purposes of obtaining goods or services from another individual
Identity theft is a disorderly person offense, and a conviction could result in a maximum of six months of incarceration along with monetary fines and restitution paid to the alleged victim. However, the prosecutor could decide to upgrade the charge depending upon the circumstances. For example, if the potential benefit of the fraud amounts to in excess of $75,000—or if the fraud involves five or more individuals—the crime could be charged as a second-degree offense, and the accused could receive between five and ten years in state prison, along with criminal fines and restitution paid to the victim of the fraud.
Online Sex Crimes
Sex crimes over the internet, such as downloading or distributing child pornography, can subject an offender to fines and jail or prison time. The offender will also most likely have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
Moreover, merely looking at child pornography that you did not download can result in a criminal conviction under the New Jersey child endangerment statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(b)(5)(b). Possessing child pornography in the State of New Jersey can result in between five and ten years of incarceration, along with a maximum fine of $150,000. Upon a conviction of distributing child pornography in New Jersey, an individual could receive a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, along with a maximum monetary fine of $200,000.
Cyber Stalking in New Jersey
In New Jersey, stalking refers to intentionally engaging in conduct towards a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear serious bodily injury for himself or herself (or a member of his or her immediate family), or death. The stalking can occur via electronic communications over the internet.
In most cases, prosecutors or other law enforcement officers charge stalking as a fourth-degree criminal offense. A conviction could result in a maximum of 18 months in prison and up to a $7500.00 fine. However, certain aggravating factors can increase these penalties, such as when a person engages in stalking after a court previously issued an order prohibiting the stalking.
Haddonfield, New Jersey computer crimes attorney Matthew V. Portella can review every aspect of your criminal charge and start working on an aggressive and thorough defense to present to the prosecutor or in the courtroom to the judge and jury.
Meet With a Haddonfield and Pleasantville Computer Crimes Lawyer
As you can tell, New Jersey computer crimes are serious offenses and deserve immediate attention. Haddonfield, New Jersey computer crimes attorney Matthew V. Portella can review your case and zealously advocate on your behalf at every stage of your criminal legal proceedings.
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“I want to thank Mr. Portella for taking my case. What an amazing law office and attorney. He is very professional and got all of my charges dismissed. If I ever need an attorney again, Mr. Portella will be the one I call. Thank you again! -A.M.”